Alex Kealy: The Art of the Keal (3 stars)

Alex Kealy: The Art of the Keal

credit: Edward Moore

A slightly shambolic but gag-heavy hour from former private school boy turned socialist

Alex Kealy describes his show as 'low on laughs but high on interesting facts', which is a typically self-deprecating comment from the comedian who 'turned socialist after being bullied at private school'. It's also completely untrue. The Art of the Keal is very high on laughs.

The gag-per-minute ratio for this show is impressive, even if you forgive some low hanging fruit (most of anyone's Trump material feels exhausted and there's much more mileage skewering Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers). Kealy's analogies are clever and imaginative, coaxing loud guffaws from the assembled crowd with his awkward manner a charming smokescreen for a guy who clearly knows how to make each joke land.

Sadly, The Art of the Keal is all over the place. At the embryonic stage of the Fringe mistakes will happen, but Kealy's show is so dominated by them that it begins to grate. He's depending on notes, but his constant return to them totally sucks momentum from the show. He misses a few technical cues, fluffs lines, and loses his place, while his use of a projector really adds nothing special to the show, and serves only to take our eyes off a magnetic performer. If he tightens things up, he'll have a great show on his hands.

Just the Tonic at The Caves, until 27 Aug (not 14), 4.20pm, £5 or Pay What You Want.

Alex Kealy: The Art of the Keal

  • 3 stars

Alex Kealy Watch a 'marvellous stand-up' (Skinny) funnify the slow-motion explosion that is 2017 liberal democracy. Politics, amirite?! 'Hilarious… fresh, insightful and original… a great hour of cerebral stand-up comedy – and Alex Kealy is a name to watch' ★★★★ (FringeGuru.com). 'Ferociously quick-witted… flawless…

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